Chelsea are back. A five goal salvo with a brace from Pedro, an opener from Diego Costa, a Willian tap-in and a Bertrand Traore debut goal was enough to send Chelsea to the dizzy heights of 12th leaving Newcastle United in the bottom three of the Premier League.
The 5-1 win at Stamford Bridge this evening was Guus Hiddink first home victory since replacing Jose Mourinho in December and it showed what the current champions are capable of but was so miserably missing for much of the season.
First half effort came in the second minute from the left boot of Nemanja Matic. But the shot, from just outside the penalty area was well wide of Rob Elliot's left upright.
But the his pressure start by the Blues paid off with four minutes when a penetrating run by Willian on the right, saw the Brazil wide man inch the perfect ball to know-running Diego Costa, who got ahead of Steven Taylor and slide the ball across Elliot's path and into the far corner of the net.
It was Costa's eighth goal in his last 10 games.
The Newcastle horror show took another twist four minutes later when Pedro intercepted a cross-field ball by Rolando Aaron's on the halfway line. The ex-Barcelona outpaced Daryl Jamaat, the intended recipient,and raced clear on goal. The Spain forward then planted the perfect left-footed curling daisy-cutter from 25-yards out that bent around Elliot and into the bottom right hand corner of his net.
It got worse for the Geordies on 17 minutes when Willian tucked the ball home easily under Elliot's body, from close range, after latching onto the a defence-splitting pass from Costa, who in turn collected a route-one ball from Cesc Fabregas.
Guus Hiddink was forced into replacing skipper John Terry, who injured his right hamstring in a tussle with Aleksandar Mitrovic.
He WA replaced by Baba who went into the left-back slot with Cesar Azpilicueta taking over the vacated Branislav Ivanovic right-back berth as he took the centre-back position beside Gary Cahill.
Chelsea had a shaky start to the second period, with Azpilicueta doing well to block a Jonjo Shelvey sliced shot on goal from close range.
But that was as good as it forms with 13 minutes, Chelsea notched up their best score of the season with numb four.
A simple long ball by Fabregas, saw the ball inch over the head of Steven Taylor and Pedro was quick to pounce, chest the ball down, take one touch and slot the ball coolly past Elliot for his second of the game.
Hiddink then took off Costa, saving him for the more sterner test on Tuesday against Paris St- Germain in the Champions League. Bertrand Traore took his place.
The Bukino Faso striker did not disappoint and with seven minutes on the clock, he was in the right place to smack home his first Premier League goal for the Blues, latching onto Azpilcueta's right byline cross.
A last minute effort from ex-Spurs Andros Townsend could do little to dampen what was a comprehensive and much welcome victory for the Blues as they prepare to fly out to Paris to face Paris St-Germain on Tuesday and then Manchester City next Sunday in the FA Cup.
Teams: Chelsea, Courtois, Ivanovic, Fabregas, Hazard, Pedro, Costa, Matic, Willian, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta
Subs, Begivic, Baba, Traore, Kenedy, Remy, Loftus-Cheek
Newcastle United, Eliot, Janmaat, Taylor, Coloccini, Aaron's, Sissoko, Tiote, Hoodie, Townsend, Wijnaldum, Mitrovic
Subs, Darlow, Lascelles, , Perez, Saivet, Doumbia, Rivière